Addressing his party's executive committee Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa, Democratic national chairman Howard Dean said he'd continue taking the fight to Republicans with his controversial rhetoric. The former Vermont governor said he has received encouragement from key supporters despite suggestions by some congressional Democrats that he tone down his inflammatory remarks. In recent days, Dean has decribed Republicans as "pretty much a white, Christian party" and said many people in the GOP "never made an honest living."

Tropical storm Arlene, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, failed to reach hurricane force as it came ashore near Pensacola, Fla., Saturday, but it brought heavy rain, 60 m.p.h. winds, and 20-foot waves. Nine months earlier the same area was devastated by hurricane Ivan. Arlene weakend to a tropical depression and did only minimal damage, according to initial reports.

China's growing power and influence are making many Americans uneasy, according to results of a new Ipsos-Reid poll. Fifty-four percent of respondants said they are concerned about the level of Chinese investment in the US and 61 percent doubt that an increased global role for China will spur democratic reforms there.

Die-hard New York Yankees fan Pete Siegel, who owns a collectibles business, bought Babe Ruth's 1919 contract for $996,000 at a Sotheby's auction Friday. The document confirms the trade of Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the Yankees in a deal that changed the course of baseball history. The price was nearly double the presale estimate.

Efforts by an American Indian tribe to press for construction of a casino with 2,000 slot machines in Oakland, Calif., was abandoned late last week, the developer said. The city council has opposed the plan to bring tribal gaming to the San Francisco Bay area, citing concerns about increased traffic, environmental impacts, and gambling-related social problems.

Danica Patrick, whose fourth-place finish at the May 29 Indianapolis 500 was the highest yet by a woman, took 13th place in Saturday night's Bombardier Learjet 500 race at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Although she started the race third and expressed disappointment in never challenging the leaders, Patrick said, "I understand it takes time to learn things." South Africa's Tomas Scheckter edged Sam Hornish Jr. by half a car-length for his first win in four years.

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